Related topics: quantum computing · physicists

Researchers build a quantum dot energy harvester

Over the past few years, thermoelectric generators have become the focus of a growing number of studies, due to their ability to convert waste heat into electrical energy. Quantum dots, semiconductor crystals with distinctive ...

Hello, world! A new approach for physics in de Sitter space

For decades, physicists have been attempting to reconcile quantum mechanics, the physics of the very small, with gravity, the physics of the very large. While many academics are working on quantum gravity, they often use ...

New method for detecting quantum states of electrons

Quantum computing harnesses enigmatic properties of small particles to process complex information. But quantum systems are fragile and error-prone, and useful quantum computers have yet to come to fruition.

Researchers advance noise cancelling for quantum computers

A team from Dartmouth College and MIT has designed and conducted the first lab test to successfully detect and characterize a class of complex, "non-Gaussian" noise processes that are routinely encountered in superconducting ...

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Quantum

In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of a quantity that has the same units as the Planck constant and is related to both energy and momentum of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. The word comes from the Latin "quantus", for "how much." Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized", referred to as "quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete numerical values, rather than any value, at least within a range. There is a related term of quantum number.

A photon is often referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. But these terms can be a little misleading, because what is quantized is this Planck's constant quantity whose units can be viewed as either energy multiplied by time or momentum multiplied by distance.

Usually referred to as quantum "mechanics", it is regarded by virtually every professional physicist as the most fundamental framework we have for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level, for the very practical reason that it works. It is "in the nature of things", not a more or less arbitrary human preference.

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